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Charles Darwin
The survival of the fittest

Darwin's - 'The survival of the fittest' quotation

Charles Darwin is often credited with coining the phrase - 'The survival of the fittest' - however such attribution is not really correct.

Darwin had tended to write about species being engaged in a competitive Struggle for Existence. This struggle being seen, by Darwin, as primarily a struggle for food to support growth, life, and the generation of young individuals to continue the species in question.
The actual term survival of the fittest however was actually attributed by Darwin himself to another source:-
"The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient"

Darwin was so taken with Spencer's catchy phrase that he did, in fact, use it in a later (1869) edition of his "The Origin of Species".

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There are many entertaining and instructive quotations about, or attributable to, Charles Darwin:-

For instance as a boy of sixteen his father said to him:-
"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family."
Darwin was keenly interested in Natural History as a young man and his Autobiography mentions one particular beetle hunt in detail:-

"I will give a proof of my zeal: one day on tearing off some old bark, I saw two rare beetles and seized one in each hand; then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to lose, so that I popped the one which I held in my right hand into my mouth. Alas it ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt my tongue so that I was forced to spit the beetle out, which was lost, as well as the third one".

Human Physique comes as an inheritance - so what about Human Nature?


Does Darwinian Evolution offer much in terms of explaining Human Nature?

The answer to this question seems to raise deep, but interesting,
issues associated with Human Existence and even with
the Faith versus Reason Debate itself.

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It is widely known that Plato, pupil of and close friend to Socrates, accepted that Human Beings have a " Tripartite Soul " where the individual Human Psyche is noticeably composed of three aspects - Wisdom-Rationality, Spirited-Will and Appetite-Desire.

What is less widely appreciated is that such major World Faiths as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism see "Spirituality" as being relative to "Desire" and to "Wrath".

could such tendencies as these tend to be aspects of that 'knot of roots' which Emerson tells us man is


Could such Materialistic?, Spiritual? and Social-group? related tendencies as those "Tripartite" ones just mentioned all tend to be aspects of that 'Knot of Roots' which Emerson suggests that ~ "Man Is"

Explore Human Nature on our insightful
Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page

Human Societies often seem
to be rather "Tripartite"

Diagram suggesting that Human Societies often demonstrate capacities for Spiritual, Materialistic and Tribal / Ethnic 'Tripartism'


Although there have been, and are, "Doctrinaire" forms of society in other cases we can probably state that Human Beings are "Social Beings" and it seems actually possible that individual Human-innate "bundles of relations and knots of roots" tend to give rise to the "World" of Human Societies!!!